Twinfant Tuesday: The Great Milk Mystery

One of the perks of having twins is that it’s a little easier to narrow down what’s wrong with them when they’re fussy, since there’s always another one to compare to. If one gets a cold, and a few days later, the other seems out of sorts, you know she’s a few days behind her sister with a cold. If they both ate the same thing for lunch (which they usually do), and they have weird poop later, you know the culprit.  You can even do experiments…when they are trying new foods, I’ll pick one to give the new food to and use the other twin as my “control” until I’m sure the twin I gave the new item to isn’t having some kind of reaction. 
My cute lab rats. 

Sporting tie dye in honor of their Great Uncle David’s birthday a few weeks ago. 
While having two to compare and contrast makes figuring out what in the world is going on with their bodies a teensy bit easier, what’s not so easy is when they are sick/cranky at the same time. For the past week, the girls have been incredibly angry/fussy/cranky/clingy/sleeping horribly/driving me crazy, and Jake and I have been desperately trying to put the clues together to figure out the culprit (and to get our sleep back). 
Our saga begins when the girls were born….  
Clue: When I first started breastfeeding the girls, they would become noticeably more gassy and cranky whenever I ate dairy, so I stopped eating dairy for the 10.5 months I breastfed/pumped. 
Clue: When the girls started eating actual dairy foods for the first time, around 8 months, they seemed fine whenever I gave them small bits of cheese or yogurt. Whenever I upped their dairy intake, they would get congested, fussy, and gassy.
Clue: I started giving the girls’ a few ounces of whole milk a day after the ok from their pediatrician at their 12-month appointment two weeks ago. 
Clue: Each day, I ramped up the amount of whole milk vs. formula that they were getting. The girls seemed to like the milk and didn’t have any reactions. 
Clue: By that weekend, they were getting about half milk, half formula. I noticed they were having more gas than usual over the weekend. 
Clue: The next week, I continued to up the ratio of milk to formula. By Wednesday, they were both congested, gassy, clingy and miserable. 
Clue: Thursday (the day that will hereafter be known as, “the day that will live in infamy,” the girls had no formula and all milk. They were gassy all day and were up two hours past their bedtime because they couldn’t fall asleep. I even had Jake drive them around in the car for an hour in a desperate attempt to get them to sleep, which we haven’t EVER had to do! It worked…until midnight when they both woke up, screaming bloody murder. We tried to comfort them and get them back to sleep, but they were both writhing around in pain and screaming. We gave them gas drops, rubbed their tummies, and held them in separate rooms since they were keeping each other up with their cries. Eventually, they fell asleep, only to wake up every hour or so, screaming. I held Amelia in our room while Jake slept out on the rocking chair with Samantha. 
Clue: The girls were miserable and gassy all day Friday. I lowered their milk intake, replacing it with more water. The girls had completely lost their appetites and weren’t drinking/eating much anyway. 
Clue: Over the weekend, the girls continued to be pretty congested, fussy, and had lost their appetites. They were fine at the Bunny Breakfast and at the park with their friend, Sam, but as soon as they weren’t entertained, they would get fussy again. Nighttime was a nightmare and no one got any sleep. 
Clue: Sunday, I gave Samantha milk and Amelia formula. Samantha was noticeably more miserable. (Sorry Samantha…I drew straws and you lost. Next time, it will be Amelia’s turn). 
Clue: Monday, we took the girls in to the pediatrician to get looked over. No ear infections or sore throats. 
Theory: The girls have some kind of dairy sensitivity. We’ve suspected this for a while, but now that they’ve started whole milk, it’s pretty obvious. This makes sense, considering Jake (and many of his brothers, sisters, and their kids) are also sensitive to dairy. He can have it in small quantities, but when he has too much, he gets congested. We drink soy milk at our house for this reason. 
Action plan: The pediatrician agreed with me. The girls aren’t necessarily lactose intolerant, but are sensitive to dairy.  The trick is to find out how much they can tolerate. The plan is to take them completely off milk and put them back on formula for the next week to see how they do (and I was SO excited to not have to spend money on formula anymore) and then, after they are doing better, we’ll start them on small quantities of soy milk, since that’s what Jake and I drink anyways. Finally, we will slowly reintroduce milk, but keep it at very small quantities until we find their “threshold” for tolerating it without problems. We are also giving them a probiotic to help cultivate the good bacteria in their gut, which will hopefully help them digest the dairy a little bit better. As soon as they are back on dairy, we will also continue to give them a few spoonfuls of yogurt with cultures in it to increase their intake of probiotics. 
Today, the girls are back on formula, and are still incredibly clingy/cranky/gassy. Apparently, it will take a few more days to get the dairy completely out of their systems, and until then, I am keeping the gas drops at the ready and bracing myself for a crazy next few days. 
A rare moment of no crying as the girls play under the table in the “Secret Garden” fort Grandma made them. 
Hi, I’m Amelia and I’m sensitive to dairy. Like daddy, like daughters. 

Too much dairy makes me do crazy things, like refusing to take my nap at the same time as sister, crawling around, trying to make as much noise as possible in order to wake her up, and finally sitting inside the lego table, shaking the noisiest rattle I own. 
Good-bye for now, dairy.

Lots of love,

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  1. Poor girls I hope their tummies get better! I stopped breast feeding a little over a month ago and Chloee has done awesome with whole milk. I was worried she would have problems switching since I too stopped eating dairy for a few months when she was little due to gassy tummy! Yes all the whiteheads have dairy problems haha. I hope you start getting your sleep back❤️

  2. Haha, I know, the Whiteheads have horrible digestive genes! That's awesome that Chloee hasn't had any problems with the whole milk…I hope the girls will follow her lead and get used to it!